Let’s stay safe this Christmas with some Holiday Hacks!

"Santa Claus is coming! Santa Claus is coming! He’s not very far away… time to hang our stockings up – it’s nearly Christmas Day!”

In the blink of an eye – Christmas is here! It is actually the most wonderful time of the year. Not only for the presents Santa leaves us under the tree, but more importantly  for the time we spend with family and friends, stuffing our faces full of delicious food and reflecting on the rollercoaster year that was 2020.

We were lucky to stay open during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which required us to do many-a phone consult, not allowing clients in to the clinic (even to get worming tablets), and having to get used to a ding! from the phone every time someone was here for a consult or to pick up something they’d pre-ordered. We are super grateful for everyone’s patience and co-operation during this time, and are glad we were able to help keep your pets happy and healthy.

Though this time of the year is quite joyous, we still need to be vigilant when it comes to our pet’s safety. There are always hazards that can be problematic during the year, but it seems to heighten more at this time! Not that we want to freak you out & prevent you from having a great time, we just think it’s a good time to refresh your memories about the Christmas time hazards that can cause havoc for our four-legged pals and to look at some Holiday Hacks that can help keep them out of trouble.

  1. Food
    Step one – resist those puppy eyes! There’s no doubt our pets will be trying all types of ways to make us want to give them something scrumptious that’s been left over on our plates. The main thing is to be weary of food that are high in fat like fatty cuts of meat, meats from the BBQ and marrow bones, as these can cause Pancreatitis. This is a painful condition which can be fatal if not treated, and makes our pets feel quite sick. It can be treated with hospitalisation and medications, but prevention is the best thing! If you’d like to make a special treat for your pet, check out these links which give you awesome recipes to cook up! That way you can give them something to eat while you enjoy your Christmas feast! Have a look at this website to find 25 Healthy Puppy treats! https://www.puppyleaks.com/simple-dog-treat-recipes/ and for your cat https://www.primepetinsurance.com.au/blog/cat-care/12-homemade-cat-treat-recipes .

    Utilising a Kong here is a great way to keep them occupied with food too – fill it with treats or ‘human food’ like rice, tuna, cooked chicken and top it up with a little dash of peanut butter to help make it super delicious! You can also freeze them and make a little ice block for them to help keep them cool. This leads us onto our next topic:

  2. Hot Weather
    Though the weather constantly changes, there’s one thing for certain – there will be some stinking hot days coming up this month! Make sure your pets have a cool place to hide away from the heat and can have access to fresh water. If you want to take them for a walk, either do it first thing in the morning before it gets too hot or wait until later in the evening. Remember that even though the sun goes down, the ground can still be hot, so make sure to check it with the back of your hand so you don’t burn your pooch’s paws. Other ideas to help cool pets down is clam shells full of water, ice blocks frozen with your pets favourite treats (or a Kong as we suggested earlier), wet towels laid out on the ground for them to lay on, or getting them inside under the air con.

    This is particularly crucial for our flat-nosed pooches and cats (known as Brachycephalic) – they need to work extra harder to pant & to keep themselves cool. They are sadly prone to getting heat stroke, so it’s absolutely crucial there are many things in place for them to stay cool.

  3. Travelling
    Firstly, how amazing is it we are allowed to travel a bit more now!? Hopefully some of you will be able to travel & see your family and friends for the festive season!

    In saying this, we want you and your pets to be safe when you’re in the car on the way to your destination. If you are travelling with your pets, make sure they are safely secured in the back of your vehicles when driving, as they can become a distraction if they are trying to move around whilst you’re driving. Cats should be contained in a secure Cat Cage, and dogs need to be restrained and unable to walk around the car whilst driving. You can be fined by the police and issue demerit points if an animal is causing the driver to be not in full control of the vehicle, or if they are driving with a dog on their lap. It’s not safe for you or others on the road, as your distracted driving could cause an accident and affect an innocent person. It’s also for your pets’ safety in case you have an accident.

    If your pets don’t get unwell on the trip, you can help keep them distracted with treats or a Kong so they won’t want to walk around the car!

  4. Christmas Tree/Decorations
    One of my favourite parts to the lead up for Christmas is when I can deck my house in festive decorations! Unfortunately, it can create a bit of a hazard when it comes to our furry friends! Small decorations can be seen as a great chew toy for both our pups & kittens (both new & old!), so take into consideration what you put on your tree and where you place it. Tinsel is very sparkly and makes noise, making it a cat’s (not-so) best friend! It’s not a great thing for them to chew on and swallow. Edible Christmas decorations must also be used with caution, as some may cause our pets to get an upset tummy.

    The good news though is that you don’t have to avoid turning your home into a winter wonderland. That’s the last thing we want you to do! Just be mindful of what your pets are like with the decorations you put up- if possible secure off the areas where you have the Christmas tree set up, or only allow your pets in that area when you can be there to supervise them. If they are interested in playing with certain baubles or dangling items, re-direct their attention to other toys or treats that are safe for them to play with.

For those who have been reading our blogs during the year, thank you for your continued support. I hope you have gained some useful tips and knowledge during the year.

To all of our wonderful clients, we thank you again for your support this year, and wish you and your families a very merry Christmas, and a safe a prosperous New year – bring on 2021!